Archive for March, 2011

The loons ride again!

March 6, 2011

There are days when I wonder if America has finally reached the point where politics can’t get any loonier. Then I read the morning paper, or get online, and I find that, no, the loons are still out there. A few cases in point:

 

When he ran as part of the 2008 presidential field on the Republican side of the ticket, Mike Huckabee took issue with the attention paid by some media outlets to Bristol Palin’s unwed pregnancy. He was full of praise for the child of his fellow Republican for taking on the role of motherhood in a world where abortion was available. I guess a couple of years and a need to get his name remembered by a new crop of conservative voters have changed Mike’s mind. You will, no doubt, have heard of his slam at Oscar-winning actress Natalia Portman for being a single mother. During a radio interview, he commented that “it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-children wedlock.” . If Mike was hoping to raise his profile, he certainly did so. A none-too-small firestorm erupted over Huckabee’s comments, and he must have felt the fire even down in Arkansas. Huckabee, in a statement straight out of the conservative playbook, slammed “Hollywood media” types for supposedly distorting his comments. It did not help that this was the second controversial statement the former Arkansas governor had made in a single week. Just days before, Huckabee had denounced President Obama’s outlook on the world by claiming that it stemmed from his childhood in Kenya. He went so far as to claim that childhood stories of the Mau Mau revolt against British rule of that nation had shaped Obama’s world view. That President Obama didn’t visit Kenya until he was in his twenties is a tiny details that Mr. Huckabee seems more than willing to overlook. His spokesmen have since tried to insist that the comments were meant to refer to President Obama’s childhood years spent in Indonesia, though they refused to explain how the Mau Mau revolt could have played a part in that experience.

Good story link: http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/4141263-421/mike-huckabee-denies-criticizing-natalie-portman-for-unwed-pregnancy.html

While we’re ‘down South’, it bear mentioning that Tennessee has officially stepped off the deep end politically. Bills have been introduced in both the state House and Senate that would make “material support” for the Islamic code known as Shariah punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Shariah is akin to the rules that observant Jews and Catholics follow: a set of moral guidelines that are supposed to direct the follower’s daily practices in life. It is, according to the sponsors of this legislation, also a threat. The bill leaves open the definition of what constitutes “material” support for Shariah, and the sponsors also claim that it is not intended as a move to criminalize Islamic beliefs, just as a way to give state police and other officials a way to go after those “who take Shariah law to the other extreme”. To give yo an idea of how broadly the statute is worded, and the extent of it’s general wrong-headedness, here’s a link to an excerpt of some of the bill’s language:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110302/NEWS06/103020365/1972/NEWS02

Thirteen states have laws under consideration that would bar courts from considering even the impact that following Shariah law might have in any case before them. While these are not nearly as over-reaching as the Tennessee law, they still speak to ignoring the role faith might play in a person’s life, which seems an odd attitude from modern conservatives, who often bemoan the lack of faith in our modern society.

Good link to a story on the law from a Tennessee-based newspaper:

http://tennessean/article/20110305/NEWS0201/103050354/1972/NEWS02/TN-Republican-lawmakers-open-discussions-anti-Shariah-bill

A final tidbit for your consideration…..heeee’s baaaaaack! That’s right, Newt Gingrich has decided to explore the waters for a possible run for the White House in 2012. Just when you thought politics was as strange as it could get. Newt has been on the conservative version of the ‘rubber chicken’ trail, addressing rallies and attending forums, speaking of all thing conservative, and he’s been building a consulting and media mini-empire for himself in the process. So he has a lot of cash, and tons of already-in-place contacts to draw on. The problem for him, though, might just be that he won’t be able to touch the money he already has. Much of it was given to so-called non-partisan political organizations he’s set up, and if he decides to go all-in on a run for future political office, that money suddenly goes off-limits, as using it would violate the federal law that governs how those sorts of organizations are established. Mind you, Newt has left a trail of statements behind him over the last couple of years that are not a whole lot better than some of the utterances of Mr Huckabee, but you may rest assured, Gingrich will be around to haunt the airwaves, expounding his version of the world, for years to come, no matter whether he runs for the presidency or not. Oh, joy……..

another nice story link: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/03/134233053/gingrich-explores-potential-presidential-run

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